The TWopocket Deck Switch

As already mentioned, the deck you have been performing with must be switched for the gimmick in your jacket pocket. Deck switches are a challenge, especially when you work standing, with no chance for lapping. There is no stock solution to deceptive deck-switching in every situation. The switch must be structured to fit the prevailing circumstances and to take advantage of them.

Pockct switches can be problematic, especially when the dccks arc uncased and loose. A standard approach to deck switching is to put the hand holding the deck into the jacket pocket and drop off the unwanted pack while you grab the second deck and bring it out. It sounds easy in theory, but with two loose decks it is difficult not to hesitate or fumble in the pocket, or to get the hand hung up as you attempt to extract it. In addition, it is always best to have some outward motivation for the hand going to the pocket; say, to put a pen away. But now you have a diird object to manage in die pocket, along with die decks, which only increases the chances for problems.

Yet another consideration with this kind of switch is that it is unnatural to put something in the pocket while the hand is holding a deck of cards as well. Unless the other hand is occupied, one would normally transfer the deck to that hand, then put the pen or object in the pocket with the unencumbered hand. Even then the opposite hand had better be holding something rather large or bulky; otherwise the normal course of action would still be to pass the deck to that hand, letting it hold both object and deck, before the other hand goes to the pockct.

In thinking about these problems, it occurred to me that one way to eliminate fumbling and assure that the deck switch is smoodily executed would be to put the current deck into one pocket as the other hand brings the new deck from another pocket. This method has another advantage. The deck is always in sight, for the instant the old deck goes into one pocket, the new deck is coming out of the other pocket. Since the switch can be done very quickly and smoothly, you need relax attention or focus it elsewhere for only a moment and the work is done. Yes, the deck does jump from hand to hand, which is illogical; but who said a handling has to be logical, so long as it is natural in appearance.

Of course you must have overt reasons for the hands to go to the pockets, and those reasons must be drawn from circumstances in the routine. One obvious pair of motivations for the hands' actions is that one hand goes to a pocket to dispose of something, and the other hand goes to a pocket to get something. To illustrate how this works, 111 use my own routining as an example. The trick that precedes " Squeeze" in my routine is "The Card in the Ringbox". At the conclusion of that trick I am holding the ringbox in my left hand while my right hand tosses the chosen card onto the table, then casually picks up the deck, taking it into face-down dealing position.

The period of reaction and relaxation that naturally follows the climax of this effect provides the cover needed for the switch. Your left hand moves to your left-side jacket pocket to drop off the ringbox. It rhen immediately grasps the gimmicked deck in dealing grip and comes from the pocket.

Just a split second before the left hand comes from its pocket with the gimmicked deck, your right hand, holding the orher deck, goes to the right-side pocket to get the miniature card case. The left hand comcs into view with its deck just as the right hand goes into its pockct with the other—and the switch is done. The right hand drops off its deck and brings the miniature case from the pocket.

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